Preview: 2018 VW Polo vs 2018 Ford Fiesta

Polo FiestaMAIN

2018 will be a busy year for the compact hatchback segment: the South African market will see the introductions of both the next-generation Ford Fiesta and all-new Volkswagen Polo. While both cars have been revealed internationally, we only have limited details on the local Fiesta. However, the recent introduction of the Polo now makes a like-for-like comparison worthwhile...

  • Developed from the ground up using Volkswagen's MQB AO platform, the new Polo measures 4 053 mm in length, 1 751 mm in width and 1 446 mm in height. Compared with the outgoing Polo, it is 81 mm longer, 63 mm wider and 7 mm lower. 
  • Meanwhile, over in Ford land, the new Fiesta looks similar to its predecessor, but it's 71 mm longer and 12 mm wider. The bonnet loses its centre bulge, the grille is wider and the headlamps smaller and more elongated. 

Engine line-up

Volkswagen Polo

As far as the engine lineup is concerned, on the turbopetrol side, there will be a 1.0-litre naturally aspirated motor, a 1.0-litre TSI (available in various states of tune), while the 1.2-litre TSI engine could be replaced by the Golf’s 1.5-litre unit (with cylinder shutdown technology, still under consideration for South Africa). In Europe, the 1.5-litre TDI turbodiesel will be superseded by a 1.6-litre TDI unit (local models are currently 1.4-litre units). Meanwhile, the Polo GTI derivative will be powered by a 147 kW 2.0-litre TSI lifted straight from the Golf GTI.

Ford Fiesta

Fiesta's 1.0-litre EcoBoost will be the first 3-cylinder engine in the world to feature cylinder deactivation. The technology can disengage or re-engage the cylinder in 14 milliseconds – 20 times faster than the blink of an eye – and combined with advanced solutions to counteract vibrations, will be imperceptible to drivers in terms of operation and engine performance. The 1.0-lite EcoBoost engine will be offered in 3 states of tune with either 74 kW, 92 kW and 103 kW. A 3-cylinder 1.1-litre petrol will also be available with either 52 kW or 63 kW. And lastly, a 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine will offer 63 kW or 88 kW. The SA market will be getting the 74 kW and 92 kW EcoBoost as well as the 1.5-litre turbodiesel.


Volkswagen Polo

Note, this is the Polo Beats edition which features an uprated audio system. Colour dashboard will be optional in our market.

Ford Fiesta

Fiesta dashboard dominated by a centre mounted tablet infotainment system. Optional B&O Sound system is more than a match for the Polo Beats system.

Infotainment systems

Volkswagen Polo

Both the Fiesta and the Polo feature high-tech connectivity solutions. The Polo's system looks very similar to that of the Golf "7.5".

Ford Fiesta

Both the Fiesta and the Polo feature high-tech connectivity solutions. Finally, the Fiesta gets a large and clear infotainment screen. It's also AppleCarPlay and Android Auto ready.

Derivative line-up

Volkswagen Polo

The Wolfsburg-based brand announced a base spec Polo, a Polo R-Line, a Polo Beats and a Polo GTI. 

Ford Fiesta

Ford has expanded the Fiesta range considerably and it comprises: Fiesta Titanium, Ford Performance-inspired Fiesta ST-Line, the Fiesta Vignale (ST-Line and Vignale are not headed to SA at this stage) and the Fiesta Active crossover, as well as a Fiesta ST. We are expected to also get an entry spec Trend model with an even more entry-level Ambiente joining the lineup later.

Related Ford Fiesta content:

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Three-cylinder Ford Fiesta ST Announced

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